Wahat al-Salam - Neve Shalom
A new year of activity at the Nadi has begun, and we have a new director, Nadine Nashef. Nadine, 23, moved to the village with her parents in 2000, is a graduate of our binational bilingual primary school, and has worked for the village in the past, in the Communications department. Having volunteered in the Nadi in her teens, and seeing the impact of the Nadi on her peers and the youth she led, Nadine is committed to continuing and strengthening the work of the Nadi. We have many exciting plans for the year ahead and in the past few months we have started working on them.
The Nadi’s year of activities has been long underway with regular meetings of the younger children (grades 1 through 6) which are led by four high-school volunteers: Noam, Bissan, Diyar and Ramez, who are active members of the Nadi.
The Nadi is in great need of renovation, both in infrastructure and furnishing, so this summer the kids of the Nadi hosted a Pizza Night, in order to raise funds to begin this renovation. They also spent many hours cleaning the rooms and grounds around the Nadi. Our vision is that the Nadi becomes a second home; a place to study, hang out, and be comfortable; a place that is worth giving back to.
In October we were happy to host members of our Friends Associations at the end of their Annual General Meeting. The kids of the Nadi arranged activities for the Friends including a Q&A and dancing. Following these activities the kids of the Nadi invited the friends to coffee and cake on the lawn, which they had transformed into a pop-up café, just as they had transformed it into a pop-up pizzeria a month before.
This Autumn the Hand in Hand school in Jerusalem – a bilingual, binational school that grew from our village’s educational model – fell victim to an arson attack by right wing Israelis. Representatives of the Nadi attended a march in Jerusalem in response to the arson attack, to express solidarity with the school and to make a stand against racism. The Nadi youth are interested in being more active in the community and beyond it.
The kids of the Nadi recently joined kids from a camp run by the Forum for Bereaved Families for a small trip to an eco-farm, called Hava and Adam. The Bereaved Families group is made up of Palestinian and Jewish families who have lost loved ones in the conflict. At the farm participants learnt about the organic farm and took part in activities together. These meeting with youth from outside the village are very important to the kids of the Nadi. We are thinking about ways in which we can involve youth from outside the village in activities at the Nadi in the future.
The Nadi’s youth leadership course is designed to provide young villagers, of high school age, with the tools and skills to act as youth counsellors, for the younger kids in the village and in work with kids outside the village. We are planning to run a youth leader course in April this year. Like the youth leaders courses we have run in past years, the course will consist of workshops, talks and an intensive 4-day training seminar outside the village, led by experts in youth leadership. The graduates of the course will go on to volunteer at the Palestinian Summer Camp and at the Nadi.
Every year Wahat al-Salam Neve Shalom runs a summer camp, sponsored by our German Friends, for Palestinian youth from the occupied territories. In past years, graduates of the Nadi’s course for youth leaders have gone on to volunteer as youth counsellors at the Palestinian Summer Camp. This year the Nadi will be even more involved as we have already begun to take responsibility for planning the Camp.